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Zeroing in on the elusive green LED
Date:4/25/2011

Troy, N.Y. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method for manufacturing green-colored LEDs with greatly enhanced light output.

The research team, led by Christian Wetzel, professor of physics and the Wellfleet Constellation Professor of Future Chips at Rensselaer, etched a nanoscale pattern at the interface between the LED's sapphire base and the layer of gallium nitride (GaN) that gives the LED its green color. Overall, the new technique results in green LEDs with significant enhancements in light extraction, internal efficiency, and light output.

The discovery brings Wetzel one step closer to his goal of developing a high-performance, low-cost green LED.

"Green LEDs are proving much more challenging to create than academia and industry ever imagined," Wetzel said. "Every computer monitor and television produces its picture by using red, blue, and green. We already have powerful, inexpensive red and blue LEDs. Once we develop a similar green LED, it should lead to a new generation of high-performance, energy-efficient display and illumination devices. This new research finding is an important step in the right direction."

Sapphire is among the least expensive and widely used substrate materials for manufacturing LEDs, so Wetzel's discovery could hold important implications for the rapidly growing, fast-changing LED industry. He said this new method should also be able to increase the light output of red and blue LEDs.

Results of the study, titled "Defect-reduced green GaInN/GaN light-emitting diode on nanopatterned sapphire," were published last week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, and are featured in today's issue of the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology, published by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. The paper may be viewed online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3579
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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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